Negotiating the Balance between Speed and Credibility in Deploying Twitter as Journalistic Tool at the Daily Nation Newspaper in Kenya
Technology has significantly altered the practice of journalism at a number of levels, including broadening news sourcing and creating parallel markets of information for journalists, away from their traditional channels of content distribution. Equally, the buffer between professional journalists and their audiences has blurred. Contemporary journalists embrace new routines by deploying new technologies in their practice, and the multifarious responses by their media houses to these changes are emerging globally. This paper focuses on the deployment of Twitter by Kenyan journalists at the Daily Nation in their everyday practices of sourcing, production and dissemination of news. Data is obtained through semi-structured interviews with reporters attached to the news desk, and examined through the diffusion of innovations framework. The study found that by adopting Twitter in their daily routines-- and because of the fast-paced nature of micro-blogging--the journalists have increased the speed of sharing news in order to stay relevant on the news market. The research also presents an overview of how the journalists negotiate the professional demands of clarity, balance and truth while at the same time embracing the immediacy and spontaneity of Twitter. The study recommends a need for mainstream media in Kenya to expand its news agenda by developing innovative ways of establishing the credibility of emerging news sources on Twitter.